Tuesday, June 13, 2017

NPA rebel surrenders in SurSur

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, June 13 (PIA) – A member of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) here recently.

In a statement, the Army's 36th Infantry “Valor” Battalion (36IB) identified the former rebel as “Ka Jumong,” 24 years old, a former political instructor under Guerilla Front 21A, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC). He voluntarily surrendered at the 36IB headquarters based in Tago town accompanied by a tribal leader.

Accordingly, Ka Jumong carried two high-powered firearms - the AK37 with an ammunition and M16 rifle (with serial number RP 25936) attached with M203 grenade launcher.

Ka Jumong said that he finished his studies at Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur, (TRIFPSS) Inc. based in Sitio Baroboan, Carromata, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur, the exclusive school for Indigenous People’s (IP). Said school was not recognized by the Department of Education (DepEd), it was learned.

Ka Jumong claimed that he was working with the NPA as its political instructor for a year and six months tasked to convince and recruit the IPs to join their forces.

Meanwhile, 36IB commanding officer Lt. Col. Randolph Rojas said that Ka Jumong will undergo due process in collaboration with the concerned government agencies in order to avail the Guns for Peace Program and Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).

To date, some 33 NPA rebels in this province have already surrendered to 36IB since the assumption of Lt. Col. Rojas. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Body of NPA rebel found in San Miguel town

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, June 13 (PIA) – Troopers of the army’s 16th Special Forces (SF) Company of Special Forces Regiment Airborne, Special Operations Command, Philippine Army based in Barangay Magroyong, San Miguel town recovered a decomposing dead body of a man, believed to be a member of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Purok-4, Sitio Lago, Brgy. Carromata.

Based on the initial report from the Municipal Police Station of San Miguel thru the Police Provincial Office, the cadaver was found at the mountainous area of Barangay Carromata and was positively identified by the 16th SF intelligence personnel as Aljun Agustin also known as “Ian,” a member of the NPA Guerilla Front 21A operating in San Miguel town and Sibagat, Agusan del Sur.

In an interview, 16th SF Company CMO officer 1Lt. Michael Clemente said that Agustin was believed to be wounded and later died due to gunshot wounds on his body during the encounter, which took place on May 31 and June 1, 2017, respectively between the elements of 16th SF Company, at the vicinity of Sitio Kiskis, Barangay Siagao, nearby place where the cadaver was found.

Meanwhile, 402nd Brigade Commander Col. Franco Nemesio Gacal said that the death of Agustin could have been avoided if the NPAs just realized the futility of their armed struggle.

"The truth, is that most Surigaonons were just exploited by the NPA terrorists. They were made to believe that the NPA will provide a good source of living for their families through the so called 'SUPAMIL' (Suporta sa Pamilya) which amounts from P3,000 to P5,000 per month," said Col. Gacal.

"The Army troops in the province under the 402nd Brigade will continue to perform its mandate to protect the people and the communities," Gacal concluded. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


DSWD installs 16 tapstands in Loreto island barangay

By April Mae N. Waban, Marko Davey D. Reyes

LORETO, Dinagat Islands, June 13 (PIA) – The Kalahi-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Deveopment (DSWD) installed a total of 16 tapstands that benifited about 88 households in Barangay Magsaysay, Loreto town.

Since Magsaysay is an island barangay, a sustainable water supply would prove to be a challenge for the community. They would find themselves frustrated everytime they turn on their faucets with water dripping so slowly.

Because of this, the residents would sail off with their pump-boats on a 30-minute excursion to Barangay Helene, a neighboring island barangay.

Residents had to endure the 30-minute pump boats ride just to get to a place they call “Kabadjangan,” their nearest source of abundant water supply.

Others, would opt to wake up before sunrise and set off on an almost two-hour foot journey through the jungle trail to reach the same place and fetch some water.

But when the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS) program came into their barangay, the community found an opportunity where they can address their needs as the program uses the Community Driven Development (CDD) strategy.

The Kalahi-CIDSS’ CDD strategy provides a platform where communities are made to identify their most dire needs, propose a solution to address water problem and implement the sub-projects themselves.

Thankfully, Magsaysay was one of the barangays selected for prioritization of which their proposed sub-project would be funded through the program. Now, with 16 tapstands installed in their barangay, about 88 households are now enjoying an improved water supply of which they utilize for domestic uses and daily consumption. (Social Markeitng Unit/DSWD Filed Office Caraga/PIA-Dinagat Islands)


POPCOM, USAID launch new FP communication tool

BUTUAN CITY, June 13 - In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project, the Commission on Population  (POPCOM) recently launched the Enhanced Responsible Parenthood-Family Planning (RPFP) IEC Resource Package.

The project presents package of information, communication and education materials that shall be used by the population workers and volunteers to easily reach women and spouses on Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning.

The city of Butuan through its City Population Office, is the pilot area for the said project in Mindanao.  Under the said project, the family planning tool kit including the other collaterals shall be used in all the RP-FP classes.  At the end of the class, couple/participants are expected to assess the materials through a feedback form, as a mechanism to gauge how effective the communication materials used.

POPCOM Caraga regional director Alexander Makinano is hoping that with the aid of the new communication package in all the demand generation activities of the region, it shall reduce the unmet need of modern family planning,  in compliance of Executive Order # 12 of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

POPCOM partnered with Communication for Health Advancement through Networking and Governance Enhancement (CHANGE) which is a five-year project (2013-2018) of USAID-Philippines that addresses the need for strategic and sustainable communication interventions that will generate increased demand for maternal and child health, FP, tuberculosis (TB), and human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) services in the Philippines, and ultimately, contribute to the reduction of maternal and child deaths, increase in contraceptive prevalence rate, reduction in TB prevalence, and prevention of HIV/AIDS. (POPCOM-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Scaled-down e-trike project to push through, says DOE

BUTUAN CITY, June 13 - The Department of Energy (DOE) will push through with the long-delayed E-Trike Project although on a much smaller scale from the original 100,000 units to just 3,000, and from the original project cost of P21.672 billion to P1.73 billion.

According to Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III, despite the many challenges faced by the project from previous Administrations, now nearing the end of its five-year loan term period, the DOE will move to showcase the potential use of clean and diversified energy technologies through the E-Trike.

The DOE headed by Secretary Alfonso Cusi moved to partially cancel the loan contract last year as the Department wanted to revisit all the options available in view of significant flaws in the project’s design, including the choice of just one model and pricing concerns.

Since the approval of the E-Trike Project by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in June 2013, recorded investments in e-trike manufacturing and support reached P500 million and generated 14,840 jobs as of the end of 2016, according to the Board of Investments and Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines.

This month, NEDA-Investment Coordination Committee took note of the DOE proposal last March on the revised project implementation, including the additional deployment options and arrangements.

As there would be substantial changes in the project, the DOE is securing amendments to the loan, Project Administration Manual and related documents with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The current DOE leadership is pushing through with the procurement of the 3,000 units of e-trikes instead of 100,000 units because this had already been contracted by the previous Administration.

Pulido explained that the DOE decided on 3,000 e-trike units as a sufficient quantity to demonstrate the viability of the technology.

"Sustainability dictates that the appropriate eco-system be in place to support the e-trike beyond deployment or at the point of sale. The terms of the contract of the winning bidder under the project include after-sales support and warranty. This sends a clear and strong signal to the public to make the switch to e-trikes," Pulido said.

Prior to the E-Trike Project, there had been previous attempts to deploy electric tricycles in various parts of the country. However, these early attempts failed because after-sales support was absent or inadequate.

In fact, during the pilot study which served as the basis for the E-Trike Project conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2011, after-sales support and warranty were key lessons learned that would determine the success or failure of the e-trike, Pulido pointed out.

Nonetheless, he said, the DOE is committed to working with the ADB and other government partners to address the socially sensitive issue of the project regarding price.

The DOE also noted that ADB’s international competitive bidding rules were observed in every step of the project.

The original project scope of deploying 100,000 e-trike units with a total project cost of P21.672 billion required various arrangements involving the government, the private sector and ADB.

Nevertheless, the DOE acted to ensure that the project would benefit the public at minimal cost to taxpayers. Proof of this is the downscaling of the project cost from a whopping P21 billion to just P1.73 billion.

Pulido said the project is an investment not only in technology and the environment but more importantly, a socio-economic investment that would jumpstart a nascent industry, generate jobs and ensure sustainable energy consumption in the country. (DOE/PIA-Caraga)


POPCOM celebrates Father’s Day on June 18

By Angie Balen-Antonio

BUTUAN CITY, June 13 - The Commission on Population (POPCOM) joins the whole world in the celebration of the Father’s Day on June 18 to recognize the important role of the men in the family, as equal partner of women in the nurturance and rearing of children.

Experts believed that the role of men as partners of women in reproductive health, contributes much in reducing maternal deaths and improving women’s health.  The husband, who portrayed superiority over the wife, control access to reproductive health  information and services, finances, transportation and other resources that bear upon women’s health.

As part of advancing men as equal partner of women in all spheres of life and to eradicate the existing gender inequality, POPCOM partnered with the local government units and other government agencies  to educate men to become an advocates for maternal and child health.

POPCOM is currently implementing the “Kalalakihang Tumutugon sa Responsibilidad at Obligasyon Para sa Kalusugan ng Ina at Pamilya” or briefly called as KATROPA, whereby thousands of men are capacitated and turned-out as advocates  for maternal health and responsible parenting.

Through its KATROPA project, POPCOM is mobilizing men collectively for maternal health and responsible parenthood to make pregnancy and child birth a joyous moment for women as well as their male partners, thus ensuring safe motherhood. (POPCOM-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Surigao Norte guv leads launching of P114M FMR in Placer

By John Glenn A. Platil

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, June 13 - Governor Sol F. Matugas recently opened new roads from Barangay Tapian leading to Magsaysay and to Sta Cruz road in Anislagan, Placer, this province.

The 9-kilometer road concreting was reportedly worth P114-million, Mayor Michael Jose Patiño and vice mayor Reynaldo Seeto expressed their wholehearted gratitude to governor Matugas for making their dreams come true.

“We really thank Gov. Matugas because she is very fair and objective, there is no color coding. Funds were released on time and fast access to the basic delivery of major services,” one of the residents said.

For her part, Gov. Matugas said that these giant projects are only the beginning and expect more under her administration.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga Director Abel James Monteagudo and former Congressman Francisco ‘Lalo’ Matugas witnessed the activity. (PGO-SDN/PIA-Surigao del Norte)